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Climate Signals

What I've been reading:

• Climate, Drought & Poverty: A Different Climate Change Apocalypse Than the One You Were Envisioning.

Twenty-nine of 43 countries in sub-Saharan Africa experienced some kind of civil war during the 1980’s or 1990’s. The economists Edward Miguel, Shanker Satyanath, and Ernest Sergenti discovered that one of the most reliable predictors of civil war is lack of rain. If you have a largely agricultural economy, when the rain goes so does the agriculture, which makes political and economic breakdown much more likely.

• Class Warfare, Climate Warfare: Rich country, poor country, hot planet

India is not a member of the elite "Group of Eight" conclave of rich countries meeting in Japan this week, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be attending anyway, bearing a succinct message on behalf of the developing world.

From Reuters:

"Climate change, energy security and food security are interlinked, and require an integrated approach," said Singh.

The subtext, for those who are hoping that the G8 can hammer out at least the outlines of a new global climate change pact, is simple: Don't ask the developing world to cut back on emissions without ensuring continued progress in raising living standards for the billions of people who haven't yet had the chance to enjoy the perks of the Industrial Revolution.

• Fire Water Burn: Access to water seen as potential flashpoint

"More and more cities and countries see access to water as a security concern and a potential trigger of conflict," Lee said in a speech opening a series of conferences focussed on sustainable development.

"Global warming can aggravate this by altering existing water distribution patterns, intensifying droughts and disrupting the lives of millions, as is happening in Darfur," he said, referring to the Sudanese region where conflict broke out five years ago.

• Oceanic Acid: Acidifying oceans add urgency to CO2 cuts.

Though most of the scientific and public focus has been on the climate impacts of human carbon emissions, ocean acidification is as imminent and potentially severe a crisis, the authors argue.

"We need to consider ocean chemistry effects, and not just the climate effects, of CO2 emissions. That means we need to work much harder to decrease CO2 emissions," says Caldeira. "While a doubling of atmospheric CO2 may seem a realistic target for climate goals, such a level may mean the end of coral reefs and other valuable marine resources."

• Political Chaos: Climate Change May Sap Military, Intel Chief Says.

"Climate change will have wide-ranging implications for US national security interests over the next 20 years," Fingar noted, as he presented an open summary of a classified National Intelligence Assessment on the effects of global warming. But the biggest impact is likely to be overseas, where "climate change... will worsen existing problems — such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. [That] could threaten domestic stability in some states, potentially contributing to intra- or, less likely, interstate conflict, particularly over access to increasingly scarce water resources." America will almost invariably have to cope with the consequences.


Nothing about Cheney micromanaging EPA reports about the effects of global warming?

I'm starting to wonder if Cheney will wait to flee the country until after the elections, or go on a "diplomatic mission" before it's too late.

I guess we know what reducing oil will be an indicator of?


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